From the Florida Department of Environmental Protection:
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has executed 10 Land and Water Conservation Fund contracts in nine counties. The projects were approved by the United States Department of the Interior through the National Park Service and total more than $1.8 million.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a federal competitive grant program, which provides matching grants to help local communities protect parks and develop recreational resources. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has benefited nearly every county in America, supporting more than 41,000 projects.
In Florida, eight of the 10 projects were funded at the maximum grant request of $200,000. The remaining two were funded at the applicant requested amounts of $175,000 and $50,000. The matching ratio is one applicant dollar to one federal dollar for all grant awards.
“Local governments recognize the importance of providing outdoor recreation options to their residents and utilize grant match programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund to invest in their community,” said Rick Mercer, director of DEP’s Office of Operations. “We are thrilled that these 10 projects are executed and we join the nation in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.”
From building hiking and biking trails, to improving community parks, playgrounds and ball fields, this grant-matching program is the primary federal investment tool to ensure families have easy access to public, open spaces.
Some examples of the projects funded in Florida during this cycle include:
• Construction of a playground/play area, nature trail, picnic pavilion, boardwalk, observation deck and related facilities including parking and signage at Keaton Beach Coastal Park, Taylor County;
• Construction of an observation deck with walkway access, picnic pavilions and shelters, kayak and canoe launch, horseshoe court, and other related facilities at Legacy Park in the city of Venice, Sarasota County; and
• Development of an expanded pedestrian trail, a floating boat dock, an off-road bike trail, restroom renovations, an expanded parking lot and other related facilities at Hampton Pines Park in the city of North Lauderdale, Broward County.
The Land and Recreation Grants Section within the Bureau of Financial Management administers the Land and Water Conservation Fund on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior and National Park Service. Eligible participants include all local governmental entities with the legal responsibility for the provision of outdoor recreational sites and facilities for the use and benefit of the public.